A basic rule of thumb in traditional journalism is to keep content separate from advertising. But a new type of online ad is intentionally blurring the lines to get more people to click on the links.
Online ad company Kontera on Monday is set to launch a type of in-text ad that places ads side-by-side with related content.
The Kontera Hybrid, which really sounds to me like the name of a car, features ads hidden behind highlighted words on a Web page. When the word is moused over, the ad and related content are displayed in a separate window.
For example, a blog about autos could display Audi ads whenever highlighted "Audi" words are moused over. The ad window that pops up could have articles, photos, and videos related to the Audi that appear on one side of the window opposite the ad. The Web site publisher selects what related content to display in the window and can show ads from its own advertisers, from Kontera's network of advertisers, or both.
The hybrid ads will be debuting on the sites of Men's Fitness, Star, and National Enquirer.
In testing, the ads were shown to get three times as many people clicking on them than Kontera's traditional in-text ads that don't have links to related content, Kontera said.